Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham are coming together to establish a new federal agency to regulate Big Tech, according to The New York Times.
The senators intend to introduce the Digital Consumer Protection Commission Act, which aims to prevent tech giants from causing harm while still allowing them to innovate, according to the NYT.
Washington, D.C. already has numerous regulatory bodies, but Warren and Graham assert a new one is necessary, likening the proposed agency to the Federal Communications Commission and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in a guest essay for the NYT.
“In 1934 the Federal Communications Commission took on radio (and then television),” they wrote. “In 1975 the Nuclear Regulatory Commission took on nuclear power … We need a nimble, adaptable, new agency with expertise, resources and authority to do the same for Big Tech.”
In response to concerns that there are already too many regulatory agencies, Graham spokesman Kevin Bishop told the Daily Caller News Foundation, “There is not one dedicated specifically to oversight of Big Tech.”
The new agency would focus on enabling competition, ensuring data privacy, minimizing social harms such as the proliferation of sexual abuse material online and preventing adverse consequences of artificial intelligence (AI), according to the NYT.
Moreover, the act would coordinate efforts aimed at regulating the tech industry, such as those being pursued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice’s (DOJ) antitrust division, according to the NYT. One of Warren’s aides disclosed that the new agency would broaden the authority of the FTC and DOJ.
“For too long, giant tech companies have exploited consumers’ data, invaded Americans’ privacy, threatened our national security and stomped out competition in our economy,” Warren told the NYT.
The act is “the first step in a long journey to protect American consumers from the massive power these companies currently wield,” Graham said, according to the NYT.
The White House unveiled a list of “voluntary commitments” by seven top technology firms to “manage the risks” of AI Friday, but experts told the DCNF they would not be effective. Further, President Joe Biden’s administration announced it is planning to develop an executive order and pursue bipartisan AI legislation.
We can’t do this without your help; visit our GiveSendGo page and donate any dollar amount; every penny helps